Another good sticky might be "How to QC test pressings". Most people don't know. Not something to be embarrassed about.
Dave - what's your approach from the days or yore?
Well, It’s not that involved, really. First is just a good look under a strong light. You can easily see non-fill, fingernail trimmings that got in the vinyl, etc.
Then I play it on a good, but not super-fancy, turntable (Technics with V15-V) and run it against the digital LP master. It’s allowed to be different, but sometimes it’s not even close. When it’s good it can actually sound subjectively better than the source. No mystery there. Pay special attention to surface noise, and increasing distortion (especially sibilance) as you approach the inner-grooves. There isn’t the kind of level-wars on vinyl that there were in the 70’s, and I’ve only had one skipping problem in memory, (from the lacquer cut, not manufacturing) although in ye olden days there was a lousy turntable routinely used to check for skipping.
As always, I would recommend the Michael Fremer DVD on turntable setup, as well as some of the easily available Hi-Fi test records.
The guy who actually knows about this stuff is Paul Gold, and I hope he will add to this topic.